By Larry P. Goodson
Going past the stereotypes of Kalashnikov-wielding Afghan mujahideen and black-turbaned Taliban fundamentalists, Larry Goodson explains during this concise research of the Afghan conflict what has fairly been taking place in Afghanistan within the final twenty years.
Beginning with the explanations at the back of Afghanistan’s lack of ability to forge a powerful kingdom -- its myriad cleavages alongside ethnic, spiritual, social, and geographical fault strains -- Goodson then examines the devastating process the struggle itself. He charts its utter destruction of the rustic, from the deaths of greater than 2 million Afghans and the dispersal of a few six million others as refugees to the total cave in of its economic system, which this day has been changed by way of monoagriculture in opium poppies and heroin creation. The Taliban, a few of whose leaders Goodson interviewed as lately as 1997, have managed approximately eighty percentage of the rustic yet themselves have proven expanding discord alongside ethnic and political strains.
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Extra info for Afghanistan's Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics, and the Rise of the Taliban
49 Meanwhile, Britain and Russia almost went to war over the Panjdeh Crisis of 1885, which led the two powers to form a number of boundary commissions to demarcate Afghanistan's borders. In 1887, 1891, and 1896 commissions decided Afghanistan's northern boundaries, and in 1893 the Durand Line separating Afghanistan from British North-West India was delineated. Although there is substantial evidence that this latter boundary, at least, was not thought by the amir to be a permanent border, it became one nonetheless, despite the fact that it divided traditional Pushtun territory,so Some tribal areas lost to British India in the last quarter of the 1800s that are now part of Pakistan include Chitral, Dir, Swat, Bajaur, Khyber, Kurram, Waziristan, Zhob, Loralai, Pishin, 36 HISTORICAL FACTORS SHAPING MODERN AFGHANISTAN Quetta, and NushkiY Finally, the Persian-Afghan boundary was settled in 1905.
43 Loyalty of the individual was to or within the qawm, which was governed by the jirga. The only force that could bring together people from different qawms was an outside threat, and the unity produced was always short-lived. The fourth factor limiting national unity is Afghanistan's rugged topography, including some of the world's most forbidding terrain. The Hindu Kush mountains descend from the Wakhan Corridor and the high Pamirs to bisect Afghanistan. These mountains average 4,500 to 6,000 meters in height (14,769-19,692 feet) in the zone around Kabul, with some peaks as high as 7,500 meters (24,615 feet) farther northeast.
This was not nationalism, for identity was still manifested primarily at the qawm level, but the groundwork for nationalism was being laid. Politically, the dual pressures of growing internal cohesion and external encroachment from imperial Russia and Great Britain led to war, political manipulation, the forging of national boundaries, and ultimately the independence of Afghanistan. Militarily, refinement of ancient Afghan tactics following the widespread dissemination of gunpowder and firearms made possible the "internal imperialism" of Abdur Rahman that led to the formation of Afghanistan while Pushtun tribesmen and Turkic warriors held the foreign powers at bay.
Afghanistan's Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics, and the Rise of the Taliban by Larry P. Goodson